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SaladFingers

The Restaurant

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I agree with that, my point was that they were blinded by Michelin but only to the point that they wanted one star and lacked the ambition to get three. I'd respect somebody that came on and said "Fuck Michelin stars, I'm going to rewrite the rulebook with regard to good cooking"

Why the negative on the Michelin aspirations? This also comes through on the Masterchef thread.

Most British restaurant food is appalling, and that is reflected in the dearth of Michelin starred places. There are lots of honorable exceptions to my sweeping statement. BUT in the UK maybe less than 0.1% or the restaurants get a Michelin star (or bib), in France is seems to be a much higher proportion.

In France I can generally find a decent meal in most places I visit (not all Michelin rated ). In the UK I am "surprised" if I eat well. It shouldn't be like this. Can anybody help me here? Are the two linked?

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Why the negative on the Michelin aspirations? This also comes through on the Masterchef thread.

Most British restaurant food is appalling, and that is reflected in the dearth of Michelin starred places. There are lots of honorable exceptions to my sweeping statement. BUT in the UK maybe less than 0.1% or the restaurants get a Michelin star (or bib), in France is seems to be a much higher proportion.

In France I can generally find a decent meal in most places I visit (not all Michelin rated ). In the UK I am "surprised" if I eat well. It shouldn't be like this. Can anybody help me here? Are the two linked?

While I'm not convinced that your assumptions are correct, I think you answered your own question. In France the restaurants largely focus first on serving decent food and there are many which do this very successfully without ever aspiring to Michelin stars. Restaurants like that do also exist in the UK, but these TV programmes are showing a worrying proportion who seem to think that the badge is more important than serving good food to their customers.

I guess by definition the people you see on such shows are looking for a quick way to fame without putting in the hard work. TV show or Michelin star: its publicity and exposure they want.

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Is French TV awash with Celeb Chefs?

Based on a couple of weeks holiday each year, it seems to be awash with Morse, Inspecteur Barnaby, Poirot, Miss Marple. I don't believe any of them are known for their cooking skills.

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In France the restaurants largely focus first on serving decent food and there are many which do this very successfully without ever aspiring to Michelin stars. Restaurants like that do also exist in the UK,

Like your use of the word "exist" instead of say, "are common too".

(please prove me wrong! Would be delighted!)

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but these TV programs are showing a worrying proportion who seem to think that the badge is more important than serving good food to their customers.

Still don't think this answers my question. I see Michelin bibs and stars as quite a good measure of quality. In my experience the ones that get "the badge" usually have correspondingly good food. Isn't it good that young chefs are aspirational and want to get recognised by Michelin...? Service good quality food, served with care and attention and won't the ratings (Michelin and others) naturally follow? So what is wrong with having that aspiration?

OK one can argue that Michelin isn't perfect but it is still quite a good measure to assess restaurants. I wonder how true your assertion is that in France chefs don't aspire to a Michelin rating. I notice that even Christian Constant who is one of the chefs who moved "down-market" and downgraded his restaurants from starred Michelin status now has earned some back.

Yes, France does have celebrity chefs, and there are quite a few serious cooking programs on TV. However, my guess is they don't have quite the "celebrity culture" we have in the UK.

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I wonder how true your assertion is that in France chefs don't aspire to a Michelin rating.

I didn't say that. I said:

In France the restaurants largely focus first on serving decent food and there are many which do this very successfully without ever aspiring to Michelin stars.

'many' doesn't imply that all chefs don't aspire to Michelin stars, it just means there are many competent chefs working in restaurants which are never going to impinge on the Michelin radar.

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I didn't say that. I said:

Sorry I stand corrected.

However, I was wondering if Michelin stars are the factor that pulls everyone up. A aspirational food culture ensures that a broad spectrum of restaurants produce good food.

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I think the issue here is not that it is in any way a bad thing that chefs are being ambitious, it's the automatic response Q. 'what do you want out of your career?' -A. 'a michelin star' they all say it parrot fashion, anyone would think, ooh, i don't know, the production staff are giving them ideas?!


you don't win friends with salad

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The more I watch this the more I think you might be right Gary. Michelin is mentioned every other sentence, nobody wants the top rating in any other guide book, the voiceover constantly mentions Michelin stars, every restaurant visited, mentioned has Michelin stars, don't get me wrong I stil think it has relevance as a guide but this is almost like an advert, I'd be curious to know if any marketing people have been involved in the making of this programme? :hmmm:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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The more I watch this the more I think you might be right Gary. Michelin is mentioned every other sentence, nobody wants the top rating in any other guide book, the voiceover constantly mentions Michelin stars, every restaurant visited, mentioned has Michelin stars, don't get me wrong I stil think it has relevance as a guide but this is almost like an advert, I'd be curious to know if any marketing people have been involved in the making of this programme? :hmmm:

Doubt michelin have lowered themselves to product placement with the the BBC, more likely a lazy ponytail in production thinking it's a simple way to reinforce they are dealing with quality restaurants by mentioning michelin every other word.

Seeing as virtually every other commercial mention on the BBC is followed by 'other (restaurant guides) are available'. maybe they haven't realised they are promoting a commercial guide? what about Zagat, Hardens, AA etc :laugh:


you don't win friends with salad

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I imagine wanting a Michelin star(s) and achieving them are two entirely different things? On one episode I watched, two of the contestants state that without a doubt they were going to get a star one day, however they all managed to over cook a basic steak dish. It made me wonder had any of these chefs actually been to many michelin restaurants??

Also if you were so keen to cook at * ** 0r *** level, there are better ways of getting the neccessary skills and experience than appearing on a cookery programme and getting 'edited' advice from Greg Wallace or Raymond and his team.

To my knowledge cookery programmes are not a prerequisite for achieving a star, however a more traditional route of gaining experience at that level (Heston excluded), financial backing, ability to cook etc etc, tend to result in more chefs gaining stars.

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more likely a lazy ponytail in production thinking it's a simple way to reinforce they are dealing with quality restaurants by mentioning michelin every other word.

Mr Marshall has summed it up perfectly, the current seasons Michelin obsession is no doubt based on someone in productions idea that Michelin is a peg on which to hang culinary aspirations, Michelin and 'The Critics' seem to be what every cookery based show revolves around recently.

Don't forget, the little gimps in the Masterchef kitchen are responding to to all manner of prompts, questions and direct feeds when they come out with the 4 second sound bites we hear. I've given up even noticing the amount of times I hear a producer at work, say to a contributor in response to a reply that doesn't quite encapsulate the script line they've got in their head 'That's great, could we do it again though, maybe you could say something like this' Hence a show full of Michelin aspirations that the contestants didn't even know they had until they arrived at the studio.

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I think the issue here is not that it is in any way a bad thing that chefs are being ambitious, it's the automatic response Q. 'what do you want out of your career?' -A. 'a michelin star' they all say it parrot fashion, anyone would think, ooh, i don't know, the production staff are giving them ideas?!

Spot on Gary, a chef from our local went up for this series. Ironically, it has a BG but she has no Michelin star ambitions at all; she just wants to cook good food people can eat and enjoy and told the producers so. They were aghast at her apparent lack of interest at becoming a "Michelin" rated chef as that, and that alone, is what they are looking for. Unsuprisingly, she never heard back from them.

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watched the episode with michael caines tonight, i couldn't believe the number of michelin mentions and nearly fell off the sofa when the voiceover wittered that the boys had to be on top of their game because the michelin inspectors visit anonymously!


you don't win friends with salad

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watched the episode with michael  caines tonight, i couldn't believe the number of michelin mentions and nearly fell off the sofa when  the voiceover wittered that the boys had to be on top of their game because the michelin inspectors visit anonymously!

I wonder if Greg has any involvement then, in them slipping in constant references, in a claim that by association, he is actually viewed as somehow linked to and/or equivalent to a michelin inspector :blink:

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watched the episode with michael  caines tonight, i couldn't believe the number of michelin mentions and nearly fell off the sofa when  the voiceover wittered that the boys had to be on top of their game because the michelin inspectors visit anonymously!

I wonder if Greg has any involvement then, in them slipping in constant references, in a claim that by association, he is actually viewed as somehow linked to and/or equivalent to a michelin inspector :blink:

Yeah he could award scores as:

Cooorrrrrs

Urrrrghs

I could eat a buckets

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Don't forget the "I'd pay good money for that"!

What's "bad" money according to Mr Wallace?

Sure, fine dining is expensive but not that much more than "boring" dining... 1 ** three-course dinner = 3 Pizza Express meals (not counting booze). I don't understand his obsession with "vast sums of money". (and of course in terms of "value added" and ingredients a ** meal is much, much cheaper than any fast food...)


Edited by Roger le goéland (log)

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Has this thread become entangled with the one for Masterchef, the professionals? Which teams on the Restuarant might have Michelin aspirations, or have been coaxed into expressing them? I can imagine the guys at the Gallery saying this, possibly the now defunct Sorbet and Seasons, or True Provenance. I'm not sure what's going on down at Ray White's, we never seem to see them. The others are different sorts of set up - if they had been persuaded to say this on camera, that truly would be remarkable.

Catherine

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